It’s been two weeks since I moved into my new apartment. Since then, I haven’t had a proper night’s sleep in my bed. I was either doing overtime with the other writers in the writers’ room or coming in at 4am in the morning.
Today was different. We managed to finish the episode and the writers were dismissed at 8pm. Having skipped the celebratory drink session, I hurried home to take a nice shower before turning in for the night.
I sat on my comfy bed and put on the hand lotion that sat on my bedside table. I lifted the covers and tucked my legs underneath before laying down on my pillow. Pulling the covers up to my chin, I relished the thought of having one good night’s sleep. Finally. I wasn’t going to go into work tomorrow, looking like a truck just ran me over… Twice.
Just as I was about to let sleep take me, I heard a loud thump come from above. I opened my eyes and stared at the ceiling, almost daring the thump to sound out again.
I figured I’d only take action if it started again. So, I waited for another minute. Nothing happened. I let out a sigh of relief and was about to close my eyes when I heard it again.
“That’s it!” I muttered.
I threw back my covers and got out of bed. Putting on the pair of TOMS that lined the door, I opened my front door in a hurry and headed upstairs. I walked straight to the apartment that was directly above mine and knocked on the door. But once my hand hit the surface of the door, I realized it wasn’t locked.
I hesitated a little. “H-Hello?”
No answer. Curious, I opened the door a little wider.
Light from the corridor streamed in and as soon as my eyes focused on the first thing I saw on the floor, I hurriedly ran down the stairs to find the guard on duty.
~ * ~
“Miss Gordon! Calm down! I can’t understand what you’re saying.”
I took a breath and tried to calm myself down. After seeing the blood-stained carpet, I was so freaked out I had to run down 12 flights of stairs to where the guard was.
“Okay.” I said. “I was about to go to sleep when I heard some sort of thumping noise coming from the apartment above me. I thought that they were doing some sort of furniture moving so I decided to go up and ask that they do it the next day. So, I went up there and knocked on their door, which wasn’t locked. That was when I saw the blood on the carpet. I think something bad happened to the people in that apartment. We need to call the police.”
The guard stood up. “Alright, alright. Miss Gordon, I’m going to accompany you up there okay?”
I nodded as the guard gestured to the doorman that he was heading upstairs. We took the lift instead of the stairs because time was of the essence. He led the way towards the apartment while I followed behind. The door was still left ajar; the way I left it when I high-tailed it down to the lobby.
The guard turned around. “Miss Gordon. Stay here. I’ll go check it out.”
I nodded and waited one door down as I watched him head into the house.
“Hello? Is there anyone here?”
The next thing I knew, I heard the guard yell in surprise and the sounds of scuffling ensued. Worried that he was in trouble, I hurriedly ran to the apartment entrance.
As soon as I stood in the doorway, the apartment lit up.
Shock and confusion were the only expressions I wore as I looked at the faces smiling at me in the apartment.
The guard smiled. “Welcome to the building, Miss Gordon!”
I shook my head, unable to grasp the reality of what was happening in front of me. “What?”
The couple to my right smiled at me.
“Welcome to the building, Miss Gordon!” The wife said. “We knew we had a writer in our building and my husband said he’s seen your name on the Law and Order: SVU opening credits. So, what better way to welcome you then with a staging of a murder!”
I blinked, refusing to believe this was indeed happening.
“So, the blood..?” I said.
The husband beamed. “Ketchup! I’m so glad the smell didn’t give it away.”
“So everyone was in on this?” I asked.
“Yup. We had this plan for a long time but you were always either never home or you were back late. So, we decided to spring this plan into action the moment you came home early.” The wife said.
An Asian lady came up to me, holding a platter of mozzarella balls. “Would you like one?”
In that split second, I had to decide. Was my sleep more important then the platter of mozzarella balls in front of me?
“Screw this.” I muttered to myself.
I smiled at her. “Don’t mind if I take two!”
I reached forward and took two servings off the platter. Smiling at the mozzarella ball, I stuffed it into my mouth and smiled as I tasted the cheesy goodness hidden by the fried batter.
So what if I was going to look like crap tomorrow morning? Since my neighbors were committed enough to staging this amazing bait to a surprise party, I had to appreciate the efforts they went through – which includes polishing that entire platter of mozzarella balls.
Now, where did that Asian lady go?